Friday, June 29, 2012

Last Minute Nellie

I really am a Last Minute Nellie about this great Giveaway from Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. She is giving away a Custom-made Wallet but you have to hurry because it ends in just a few hours! My 1/2 Dozen Daily is my new (for a few months now) favorite blog! Sometimes I feel like a "blog stalker" because I check in often to see what she's posted:) Whereas I am lucky to post once a day, Carla often posts several times a day! Please check out her blog and tell her Kat sent you:)


Giveaway to Shout About

I am very excited about the Giveaway Carla has going on over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily! The Canadian company NBW is giving away one tub of Marigold Magic Body Butter to a fortunate reader of Carla's blog! 

So, why am I excited? Besides the fact that I love to win stuff, the Marigold Magic Body Butter has healing properties for eczema--the bane of my existence! In the Bible Paul talks about his "thorn in the flesh"; do you think he had eczema? (Just kidding) I have had eczema since I was an infant. At times it has gone away for a few years at a time but it came back again about 5 years ago and has been my constant companion since. Yuck! Oh Carla, please pick me!!!

You can read Carla's critique of NBW's Marigold Body Butter at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. Be sure to also check out NBW. They ship to the US:) 

Have a great weekend and I will see you back here for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

What's for Breakfast?

What could be better than a delicious Raspberry Smoothie first thing in the morning? How about a Vegan Raspberry Smoothie?!!! My handsome hubby and I are trying to go vegan and for the most part are doing pretty good (if you don't count my visit to my daughter's last weekend). We have purchased several protein shake powders over the years that contain dairy--usually whey. Some are good; some are not so good. We recently purchased the Sunwarrior Plant-based Protein Powder. 

Sunwarrior Classic Protein uses an old world process, combining the endosperm and bran from raw sprouted whole grain brown rice to create the first completely hypoallergenic protein, containing all essential and non-essential amino acids in a perfectly balanced profile. Sunwarrior Classic Protein has the highest amount of (non-soy) raw, whole grain, sprouted vegan protein of any product available.
--from the Sunwarrior website.

We purchased the vanilla flavored protein powder which is sweetened with stevia but I read that the natural flavored protein powder is not sweetened with anything. For our Raspberry Smoothie this morning I used:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops Sunwarrior Classic Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries from our garden
  • 8 ice cubes
Blended in my Vitamix Blender for about 1 minute. There was enough smoothie for my husband and me to each have a glass and a half.

We purchased our Sunwarrior Classic Protein Powder from Azure Standard where we purchase our bulk foods but I noticed that it is also available from Amazon. The reviews on Amazon gave this product 4 out of 5 stars!

So, if you are looking for a non-dairy, plant-based protein powder that is also soy-free and gluten free, try the Sunwarrior Classic Protein Powder. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pasta and Spinach Salad

Pasta salad close-up.
Pasta salad close-up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the Summertime we love Pasta Salads! One of our favorites is a Pasta and Spinach Salad recipe I got at a Tupperware party back in the 80s. I have tweaked it just a bit but it's basically the same. Sooo yummy! Hope you enjoy it too:)

Pasta & Spinach Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 teaspoon dry mustard 
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed (or 1 Tablespoon fresh minced basil)
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
Pinch of salt
16 ounces corkscrew macaroni (penne is also good)
1 large sweet red, green or yellow pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2/3 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
5 cups torn fresh spinach

Combine first 7 ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Set aside.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse cold water and drain again. 
In a large bowl combine marinade, macaroni, sweet pepper, olives, cherry tomatoes and spinach. Stir to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

As a side dish this recipe will serve 6-8; as a main dish it will serve 4-6. You could add some chicken cut up to make it go farther. 

NOTE: This salad is also good with Tortellini as the pasta and broccoli instead of spinach:) Try adding a can of artichoke hearts for an extra yumm factor:)

Have a great day! Kat

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Little Love

My birthday is next month but Sunday night I got an early birthday present from my dear friend and Stampin' Up! downline, Margarita:) My husband and I love tea and frequently buy teas "just to try them out". Some are good; some are not! Anyway, I was overjoyed with this delightful Organic Tea Set for Two! I am planning to make myself a pot of tea to enjoy today.

Accompanying my wonderful new tea set was this card. I LOVE it!!! Not sure what color she used but the stamp sets are Mixed Bunch and Oval All (retired). She used the Scallop Oval Punch and the Large Oval Punch. She used Baker's Twine and a button to finish off her card. You can find a tutorial for making this card at Dawn Olchefske's website DO Stamping with Dawn. I am hoping to make one of these cards with my Happy Stampers soon!

Are you a tea drinker or a coffee drinker? What kind of tea do you like? What time of day do you prefer your tea? 

Have a wonderful Tuesday. I sure hope it's warm (but not too hot) where you are. It won't even hit 70 degrees F here today:(  Kat

The Cupboard Trilogy Countdown is on...

The Cupboard Trilogy is a Challenge Blog. They are currently revamping and preparing to launch with new and improved monthly challenges starting July 1. They are giving away Blog Candy (and I do love Blog Candy) so head on over to The Cupboard Trilogy to find out what YOU have to do to sign up for their Blog Candy! And don't forget to check out The Cupboard Trilogy on July 1!!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Money Check-up

The Weekly Money Check-up is started by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies

  1. The most money I spent this week was on...the trip to my daughter's for my granddaughter's birthday.
  2. Today I am thankful for...being home. It's nice to go but nicer to come home:)
  3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy...My granddaughter's birthday party was so much fun. Watching her with her friends and seeing her personality at work. Visiting with family and friends. It was all good!
  4. I will consider this week a success if...I get the house clean, laundry done, berries picked and stamping order sent in! Anything else will be frosting on the cake:)
  5. My favorite part of the day is...the early morning. I love the promise of a fresh new day! My least favorite is around 5:00 in the evening. I am usually starting to drag by then.
Did you have any money challenges this week? Want to share?!!! Kat

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

I "borrowed" the picture for my Sunday Night Chit-Chat from another blog today. I LOVE it!!! It is totally how I feel about being creative. 

I am visiting my daughter and granddaughter for the weekend and was hoping I would get a few minutes to participate in the the Sunday Night Chit-Chat. Whoo Hoo! I did!!!

If this is your first visit to the Sunday Night Chit-Chat, it is originated each week by Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. Check her blog for her answers to the questions and for other bloggers' as well.

So, let's get started:)

I am...

Reading...A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury--just a few pages left:) Great book!

Watching...Just finished watching Cash Cab and currently watching the news.

Listening to...The TV and my family talking.

Cooking/Baking...At my daughter's and haven't had to cook much this time. I did bring her a bag of homemade Granola. I made French Toast for breakfast this morning.

Happy you accomplished...Got Graduation cards made and mailed. Got my Granddaughter's birthday gifts and we made it through her 7th birthday party--whew! 

Looking forward to next week...I am hoping to be able to relax and catch up on some home stuff--cleaning, picking berries, laundry. Will be so happy to have everything back to "normal" again:)

Thankful for today...A wonderful weekend visit with my daughter and her family. My granddaughter is amazing!

What is the WORST movie you've ever seen and couldn't be paid to watch again? The number one movie in this category I don't even want to admit I saw so you will get my number two choice--Everything Must Go! My daughter played it through Netflix last night and I went to bed before it was over. BORING! 

I am so glad you stopped by to share the Sunday Night Chit-Chat with me. Have a nice evening and I will be back on Tueday. Tomorrow I will be traveling home from my daughter's:( Kat

Friday, June 22, 2012

Comida Buena

Taqueria El Rinconcito Express in Bingen, WA
Bingen, WA, population 712, is located along the Columbia River on Hwy 14--across the river from Hood River, Oregon and just south of White Salmon, WA. Three of the area's largest employers, SDS Lumber Company, Underwood Fruit and Insitu are located in Bingen. AND one of our favorite places to eat, Taqueria El Rinconcito Express! The picture at left is of the front of the little restaurant. Unassuming but neat and clean. They have good food (comida buena), simply made and that translates into DELICIOUS for me!
The owner in the clean kitchen visible from the counter

My husband really enjoys the HUGE Vegan Burrito with Mole. I like a combo plate with rice, refried beans, corn tortillas, cabbage & avocado--yum! While we enjoy their vegan/vegetarian selections, they offer beef, chicken and pork as well. 

They actually have two locations--the one in Bingen at 114 w Stueben West and the other at 1833 Cascade in Hood River, Oregon. 

A few of the menu items are:

  • Burritos for $6.75
  • Baby Burritos for $4.75
  • Tacos for $2.25
  • Low-Carb Burritos for $7.25
  • Quesadillas--cheese for $3.50; meat for $4.75
  • Tamales (only on Fridays) for $2.25
  • Combo Plate for $8.00
  • Tortas for $7.50

The owner making my husband's Vegan Burrito
If you are traveling along Hwy 14 near White Salmon, WA or are just wanting to take a nice drive, be sure to stop in at Taqueria El Rinconcito Express and tell them Bob & Kathy sent you:) On the other side of the river? Check in at Taqueria El Rinconcito Express in Hood River. Great food at a reasonable price served by very friendly people:) What more could you ask for?!!!

I am off to visit my daughter and granddaughter for the weekend but I hope to back for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat! Have a great weekend. Kat

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Betsy's Blossoms One More Time

Okay, I titled this Betsy's Blossoms One More Time but I can't promise that forever because I LOVE this stamp set! However, I think I can promise for the next couple of weeks! 

Last night was my Happy Stampers Club meeting! We made the Tote (left) and two cards like the ones I have been sharing with you. The Tote is using Rich Razzleberry and Lucky Limeade card stock along with Floral District Designer Series Paper. When you put 4 cards with envelopes in the Tote there is still room for CHOCOLATE!!! What a great gift idea!

Everyone made the card on the right plus they got to pick either the Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade or Baja Breeze card (shown in previous posts) as their second card. For this card I used the following Stampin' Up! products:

  • Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze and Whisper White card stock
  • Floral District Designer Series Paper
  • Rich Razzleberry Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Betsy's Blossoms Stamp Set
  • Dimensionals
  • Whisper White Medium Envelopes
As promised, the dimensions for this card are:
  • 4 1/4" x 11" Rich Razzleberry card stock
  • 2 1/2" x 4" Baja Breeze card stock
  • 2 1/4" x 3 3/4" Floral District dsp
  • 5 1/4" x 4" Baja Breeze card stock
  • 5" x 3 3/4" Whisper White card stock
  • 3" x 2 1/4" Rich Razzleberry card stock
  • 2 3/4" x 2" Baja Breeze card stock
  • 2 1/2" x 1 3/4" Whisper White
Lots of pieces to this card but oh, so worth it! It will also cost you an extra 20 cents to mail it (US).

Again, thanks to Linda Gutierrez at Stamping Year Round for this card and Tote project. 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day! Kat

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Betsy's Blossoms Again

Just a quick post today as I am off to town to run errands, visit and meet with my Happy Stampers tonight:)

This is another tri-fold card in the set we are making tonight at Happy Stampers stamping club. I totally CASEd these cards from my upline Linda Gutierrez. You can check out her blog at Stamping Year Round but be sure to come back here:) Linda is so talented and has been a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator for 20 years!!! I am privileged to be part of her downline!

Okay, for today's card I used the following Stampin' Up! products:

  • Paper: Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade and Whisper White card stock; Floral District Designer Series Paper
  • Stamp Sets: Betsy's Blossoms and Perfectly Penned
  • Ink: Lucky Limeade Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Dimensionals
To get started with this card, cut your main card stock at 4 1/4" X 11"; score at 2 3/4" and 5 1/2". Now you're ready to decorate. I will give you the sizes of the decorating pieces tomorrow! Oh, the suspense!!! Lots of pieces but such a fun card!!!

Don't forget about my "I Love My Customers" special. It ends June 27!

Have a great day! Kat

Monday, June 18, 2012

Betsy's Blossoms

I really do like the Floral District Designer Series Paper and the Betsy's Blossoms stamp set! This card is a little sneakie peekie for my Happy Stampers this week as I usually don't show our projects until AFTER our stamping club night--which is Wednesday! This card is actually one of a set of 4 and they go in a cute little (super easy to make) tote! This is a tri-fold card that ends up fitting into a standard A2 (note card) envelope.

For this card I used (Stampin' Up! products, of course!):

  • Paper: Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight and Whisper White card stock; Floral District Designer Series Paper
  • Baja Breeze Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Betsy's Blossoms Stamp Set
  • Dimensionals (for the flower on the "thank you")
Well, that's it for now. I have to get our stamping club projects ready to go! Have a great day:) Kat

Happy Homemaker Monday

Welcome to another edition of Happy Homemaker Monday. I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for another week. This is going to be another busy week for me but next week...ahhh, sweet relief! I should be able to get back on schedule (what's that???) and get some maintenance stuff done around here! But, in the meantime, need to stay focused this week to get everything done! 

Happy Homemaker Monday is started each week by Sandra at {Diary of a Stay at Home Mom}. So, let's get started...

The weather...Now this is a depressing subject! At 9:00 am it is 60 degrees F, the wind is blowing (hard) and I am wearing a SWEATSHIRT!!! Brrr! Oh well, the strawberries, raspberries and lettuce like the cooler temps.

On my reading pile...My Bible, A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury and my new Vegetarian Times magazine!!!

On the TV...Nothing till Wednesday when Dogs in the City will be on again.

On the menu for this week...

  • Monday--Mushroom Barley Soup & Salad
  • Tuesday--homemade Pizza and Salad
  • Wednesday--gone to Stamping Club (guys are on their own:)
  • Thursday--Mizidra (hubby liked it so much last week he asked for it again)
  • Friday-Monday will be at daughter's house:)
On my To Do List...
  • Get projects ready for Stamping Club
  • Make 4 Graduation cards, 2 Birthday cards and 6 Thank You cards
  • Finish gifts for Granddaughter's birthday
  • Pick and freeze strawberries and raspberries
  • Pack to go to daughter's
  • Plus the laundry and housework that is usual
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating...
Dress for granddaughter's 18" doll in lavender fingering yarn.
Hope to have it finished by the time I get there on Friday:)
Wheat Doily (haven't started the wheat part yet).
Hope to have it finished and ready to show by next week!
Homemaking tip...My all-time favorite tip is the Mystic Maid Microfiber Cloth. Now, I know you have tried a lot of microfiber cloths, some good and some not so good but Mystic Maid takes microfiber to a whole new level. I received my first Mystic Maid cloth as a gift. I thought "What's with this and what do I do with it?" I don't remember how long it was before I finally used it but when I did, there was no going back! This cloth is hands down the best way to clean mirrors, windows, shiny marble countertops, black-topped ranges, faucets--anything you want to shine with no streaks!!! You don't use any cleaner (a huge savings right there) plus unlike paper towels the cloth is reusable (another cost savings)! To use, just wet with water, wring out and wipe your surface. When the surface dries there are NO STREAKS!!! The cost is US $14 (includes shipping and handling within the US) which is a bit pricey however I have had my cloths for about 15 years and they are still as good as new! I don't know what you would have to do to wear out one of these cloths.

Looking around the house...A little cluttered but clean. Our 12 year old miniature dachshund at my feet. Stamping stuff spread out on the dining room table ready for me to get to work!

From the camera...

Raspberry bushes are loaded! I picked over a gallon of berries yesterday and will likely get about half that today! I feel so blessed to live in a place where we can grow good food to eat and to have a husband who enjoys growing things--food, flowers, trees...

Something fun to share... Multigrain Tortilla Chips by Food Should Taste Good! These chips/crackers are made with flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds, quinoa, soy and brown rice. They are certified Gluten Free and are DELICIOUS!!! I particularly like them paired with Sabra Hummus and I am able to purchase them both at Costco:)

On my Prayer List...
  • My brother who recently lost his wife
  • A friend with cancer
  • A friend who is trying to figure out where God wants them
  • My mom's health
  • My trip to visit daughter on Friday
  • Warmer weather (I know, be careful what you ask for)
Bible verse; Devotional...
This is for me this morning from a little book called Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White:
"Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, "Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee". This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ."

Thank you for stopping by today to share my Happy Homemaker Monday! I hope you have a truly blessed day! Kat

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

It's time for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat started each week by Carla at My Half Dozen Daily. The picture I chose this week is of one of a set of cards I made for my granddaughter to give her teacher on the last day of school. I love, love, love the Betsy's Blossoms stamp set and the Floral District Designer Series Paper both from Stampin' Up! This card came from a tutorial I received from my Stampin' Up! upline Linda Gutierrez. I will post more of the cards in this set tomorrow:)

So now, for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat...
I am...

Reading...Whoo Hoo! I finished A Time to Dance and started A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury:) Hopefully this one won't take me as long to read.

Watching...Nothing! Planning to read tonight too, Carla!

Listening to...The wind! It is really blowing today:( And, as usual our bulldog puppy is snoring right beside me while I blog. He is sooo cute!

Baking/Cooking...I was going to make bread but decided to wait till tomorrow. Today I did pick over a gallon of raspberries and put half of them in the freezer! They are sooo yummy! I think I'll make some Raspberry Lemonade tomorrow:)

Happy you accomplished...I am just happy I made it through the week! We were gone all day Thursday for appointments and a Solar Seminar put on by the company my hubby works for (two hour drive to and from). Then we had a college graduation Friday afternoon (1 1/2 hour drive to and from). Finally my SIL's funeral yesterday (3 hour drive to and from). Whew! Lots of sitting in the car:( 

Looking forward to next week...Visit to my daughter and granddaughter:) Precious granddaughter will be seven years old on Saturday!

Thankful for Today...After the funeral yesterday, I am so thankful for one more day with my husband. My SIL was only 56 years old and my brother will miss her terribly. I want to learn to appreciate the little things more.

If you could have just one item off your "wish list" right now, what would it be? Hands down, for me it would be an iPad! It's not on the priority list right now, but I really, really want one. Someday....

Have a nice evening and be sure to check out the other Sunday Night Chit-Chat's by visiting Carla's blog My 1/2 Dozen Daily. I will be back tomorrow for the Happy Homemaker Monday AND some cards to share.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Love My Customers

2012-2013 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog
Just a quick post today as I have sooo much crafting to do! 

I love being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator!!! Did you know that as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator I get a 20% discount on everything I purchase from Stampin' Up? And did you know that I also make a 20% commission on everything YOU order from ME?!!! (If you're interested in these PERKS, click on the Take the Cake button on the right for more details then email me) Well, from today, June 15-Wednesday, June 27, I will give YOU my 20% discount on your order (tax and shipping are not discounted)!!! That's right, order from me between today and June 27 and you will receive a 20% discount! Now, there's a little have to place your order by calling or emailing me--ONLINE ORDERS DO NOT COUNT! This SPECIAL is from me, personally, not Stampin' Up!

Just a few items of note regarding this Special:

  • If your order is $150 or more, you will receive hostess benefits in addition to the 20% discount from me! PLUS you will receive the new 2012-2013 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog for FREE!
  • If your order (or book party) is $450 or more you will receive an additional $50 in hostess credit (from Stampin' Up!) plus your 20% discount from me! (click on the "we {heart} our hostesses" button on the right) These orders will also receive the new 2012-2013 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog for FREE!
  • Minimum shipping rates apply. Shipping on Stampin' Up! orders is 10% but the minimum shipping is $6.95.
  • Only United States orders apply to this Special.
  • You MUST call (541-454-2220) or email (button on right) ME with your order--ONLINE ORDERS DO NOT APPLY!
If you don't have the new 2012-2013 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog you can view it as a pdf here. Order during this Special and you will receive the Holiday Catalog which starts August 1.

Have a great day and a wonderful (warm?) weekend! Kat:)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Poor Baby Dog

Sunday afternoon Rocky's right back paw started swelling. When I looked, there was a small abscess type sore between two of his toes. We washed it with hydrogen peroxide and put triple antibiotic cream on it. The next day the swelling was worse so cleaned it up again, this time putting tea tree oil on it. We did this four times during the day but at the end of the day decided we needed to make a trip to the vet the next day. Fortunately, Dr. Cari was able to get us in and determined it was a "cheat grass abscess". In other words he had somehow gotten cheat grass stuck in there and it worked it's way into the skin. So, an hour later, after surgery, I picked up a very groggy puppy with a bandaged foot. I wish I had a picture of what he looked like on the way home--lower lip drooped, eyes droopy, sooo cute!

The picture on the right is my dog on drugs! He was not a bit happy with me taking pictures of him. I think I have more pictures of Rocky than I do my kids when they were growing up OR my granddaughter! Is there a support group for this problem?!!!

He was very droopy all evening and put himself to bed early (he sleeps in his crate). This morning he was back to his normal self! Not sure that's good:( This puppy (now 9 months old) has been equal to most two year olds as far as trouble he can get into. We had to put an electric fence around the garden after he ate a 20 ft row of kale and started on our asparagus patch. Most dogs we have had learn with one or maybe two encounters with the electric fence but not Rocky! It took him five times to learn NOT TO TOUCH THE WIRE! I accidentally touched it one day and it was NOT pleasant! Only took me ONCE!!!

Needless to say we love this little guy and thankful to have him as part of our family. If you haven't watched it yet, be sure to watch Dogs in the City tonight at 8:00 on CBS. They have had an English Bulldog on both episodes--does that tell you anything?!!! The trainer has three dogs/owners he works with per episode and it is a wonderful family show!

Sorry I haven't had any projects to show you yet this week. Believe me, I'm working on it!!! Have a great day! Kat

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Money Check-up

Happy Tuesday to you! Yesterday was going along good...walked 3 miles; did laundry; laid out in the sun for a bit to soak up a little Vitamin D; cleaned up the house a little; FORGOT A MEETING until my ride honked in the driveway!!! How embarrassing!!! So I ran out, asked her if she could give me 5 minutes, quickly changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and away we went (sans makeup--now that's scary)! It all turned out well and good but I couldn't believe I forgot about it, especially since I had mentioned it to my husband just that morning! In my defense, this was a quarterly meeting and I had forgotten to write it on the calendar. Anyone else out there have lapses in memory?

Yesterday was Ginna's Weekly Money Check-up over at My Pretty Pennies but since I was busy forgetting things I didn't get around to playing till today. I love the picture she used for the Check-up this week! Sooo, here goes...

  1. The most money I spent this last week was on...Our 33rd wedding anniversary:) We stayed in a motel for two nights in Lake Oswego, Oregon, ate in restaurants and bought lots of groceries to bring home. This was a definite splurge!
  2. Today I am thankful for...33 years of marriage to the same man! And especially thankful that being married to him just keeps getting better.
  3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was...A nice long visit with my brother. Not a phone call or a text or an email but a nice, long, face-to-face visit:) The time went by so fast; I'm going to have to schedule more of those.
  4. I will consider this week a success if...I get the Father's Day cards made and mailed! Now, that shouldn't be too hard, should it?
  5. I am currently reading...I am beginning to hate this question because I haven't been reading much lately so am still reading the same books--A Time to Dance by Karen Kingsbury (I promise I will finish this one today!); I Will Die Free by Noble Alexander (with Kay Rizzo); and Ask the Animals by Bruce R. Coston, D.V.M. I am also still reading my new Weight Watchers magazine!
What were your money challenges and successes last week? 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to be back tomorrow with a finished project or two.  Kat

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #22

Well, it's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Hubby and I were celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary in Lake Oswego, OR. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn for only $48 a night thanks to!!! Our room was beautiful and centrally located to the places we wanted to go--Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant, Trader Joe's, Costco, my brother's...It was a very nice and relaxing weekend. It was Rose Festival weekend in Portland but I am not much for crowds so we stayed away:)

The Happy Homemaker Monday is started each week by Sandra at {Diary of a Stay at Home Mom}. Sit back, grab your cup of tea (or whatever--mine is water at the moment) and enjoy!

The weather...Oh, today is going to be lovely here. Finally, the cold is gone, the sun is shining, just a gentle breeze. I am gonna love this day!!! The temp will be in the mid 80s and at 10:30 am it is 67 degrees:) Can you see me happy dancing?!!!

On my reading pile... The pile just gets bigger because I haven't been reading as much as I should lately but here's what's on the pile:

  • Finishing A Time to Dance by Karen Kingsbury today or tomorrow--FINALLY! And it really is a good book!
  • I Will Die Free by Noble Alexander (with Kay Rizzo)--our family read aloud book of the moment.
  • Bible--book of 1st Peter.
  • The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey
On my TV... Wednesday night is time for Dogs in the City again! I love that show. Am hoping to watch The Shunning on Netflix sometime this week. 

On the menu this week...

Monday--Mizidra (brown rice with lentils on top and then build like a tostada)
Thursday--Dinner out:)
Friday--Soup (not sure what kind yet) and fresh bread
Not sure about Tuesday & Wednesday yet as I will be home alone and don't tend to cook so will likely be big salads. We have lots of salad greens, broccoli, strawberries and raspberries in the garden to supplement all our meals! 

On my to-do list...What isn't this week! 

  • Laundry and lots of it! Weather's nice so I can dry it all outside:)
  • Vacuum, mop and dust
  • Clean the bathroom--yuck!
  • Get those cards made--can't procrastinate any longer
  • Finish granddaughter's birthday presents
  • Work on my Wheat doily
  • Finish teacher's gift for granddaughter's teacher
  • Finish reading A Time to Dance!!!
  • Get ready for Stamping Club
  • Order vitamins
  • Walk 3 miles daily (day 1--check:)
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating...
  • Teacher's gift for granddaughter's teacher--boxed card set (hope to post pictures by end of the week)
  • Crocheting doll dress for granddaughter's 18" doll
  • Crocheting Wheat doily in size 10 crochet thread--a little more difficult than my other doilies have been.
  • Cards for Father's Day, thank-yous and Birthdays (yes, this one was on my list last week too but can't procrastinate another minute:(
Summer fun...Just picking berries and soaking up some sun. Hope to do some kayaking soon with my son.

Looking around the house...It's not a pretty picture:( It will look better by the end of the day!

From the camera...

I hate to bore you with pictures of our baby but he is just sooo cute! This is where he waits to be fed. Started when he was 8 weeks old and he has continued ever since. He wants to eat under the chair too but we try to make him eat in the middle of the floor. However, sometimes he will just scoot his bowl under the chair and eat there anyway! Stubborn!!!

Something fun to share... Don't have anything special today.

On my prayer list...My brother who lost his wife on Tuesday. They were together for 17 years and he said they were soul mates. 

Bible verse, Devotional...
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." --Isaiah 26:3. 

Have a wonderful Monday. Kat

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

My brother's wife died on Tuesday this week from a heart attack. It was totally unexpected. The quote above is how I feel at the moment. Not totally appropriate because when we lose someone we always feel their absence but at least the initial shock and pain will pass. She was truly a gift from God to everyone who knew her.

If this is your first time to the Sunday Night Chit-Chat, it is started each week by Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily. Those of us who want to participate do a Sunday Night Chit-Chat post giving our answers to Carla's questions. Then we link back to her website. I have really been enjoying this and I think most of my readers have too:)

Sooo, What am I...

Reading... I have several things going at the moment. I Will Die Free by Noble Alexander (with Kay Rizzo) is our family read aloud book at the moment; Ask the Animals, a vet's-eye view of pets and the people they love by Bruce R. Coston, D.V.M. is the book I am reading to my son in the morning before he goes to work; I am almost finished with A Time to Dance by Karen Kingsbury; and my new Weight Watchers magazine and Stampin' Success magazine just arrived so am looking those over real good:)

Watching...Was watching Flight of the Phoenix but got bored with it so let the guys finish it without me. I am wanting to watch The Shunning on Netflix but don't know if I will get it done tonight.

Listening to...Nothing at the moment.

Cooking/Baking...Cooked artichokes when I got home today. 

Happy you accomplished...Does 33 years of marriage count? LOL

Looking forward to next week...Getting several unfinished projects FINISHED! I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects:(

Thankful for today...Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary:) We spent the weekend in Portland, OR--motel, restaurants, fun! I am also thankful I was able to visit with my brother while I was in Portland. 

Best buy over the last month... I am still really thrilled with my J-41 Genesis shoes that I got at Costco for $39.99 (regular price $79.99 but can be purchased at Amazon for $44.95). I wore them all weekend and they were sooo comfortable!

Thank you for stopping by for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat! I hope you enjoy your evening.  Kat

Friday, June 8, 2012

Non-Dairy Strawberry Shortcake

Ymmm! Strawberry Shortcake! Love it!!! 

I picked over a gallon of strawberries from our patch in one day! (I talked about our strawberry patch in a previous post) I decided to make Strawberry Shortcake--well, duh! I like to use the biscuit type shortcake and just use the one in my old Betty Crocker Cookbook. However, I stopped using shortening several years ago and use Coconut Oil instead. At room temperature the Coconut Oil looks very much like shortening and works the same in recipes. Hmmm, maybe I should do a post on Coconut Oil. The recipe I have for you today is for Whipped Topping. We don't use dairy and if you read the ingredients on the Cool Whip package you wouldn't use it for sure! I tried several Whipped Topping recipes with undesirable results until I found the one I will share with you today! If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, you will love it!!!

Whipped Topping
Makes 6 cups

1 cup water
2 Tablespoons agar flakes (2 teaspoons powder)
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/3 cup honey or 1/2 cup sugar (I only use 2 Tablespoons sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, but especially nice in icing)
1 can coconut milk 

  1. Stir together the agar and water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in blender along with hot agar mixture. Blend on high until smoother, adding water as needed to make 3 1/2 to 4 cups total mixture (3 1/2 cups total mixture for icing; 4 cups for whipped topping). Pour into quart container and chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. For quicker chilling, use a large, shallow container. Hint: Since this recipe needs blending twice, leave the blended mixture (step 2) in the blender in the refrigerator overnight. Then simply reblend as in step 3, saving the work of washing the blender and containers twice!
  3. Before using, place chilled mixture (which will be quite firm--almost sliceable) in blender or food processor and blend until creamy. (If you have a lightweight blender, you should blend just half of the mix at a time.) It should be the consistency of Cool Whip, and spreads on a cake very nicely. Try not to add more liquid. The mixture will eventually go through the blades and become more creamy if you carefully push it toward the blades with a rubber spatula. 
The agar is a key ingredient in this recipe. The mixture has to be reblended only once. Then it can be frozen and used without reblending, but remains a nice creamy texture. So make a double recipe and freeze in small containers to use as needed for icing or dessert topping.

This recipe is from a favorite vegan cookbook of mine called 7 Secrets Cookbook by Neva & Jim Brackett. 

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend! I'll be back on Sunday Night for the Sunday Night Chit-Chat! Kat

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pineapple Doily

Happy Thursday to you! I have been crocheting again (or is it still) and finished another beautiful doily. This "twirling pinwheel of pineapples" is from the book Favorite Throws & Table Toppers to Crochet by Annie's Attic. I love to crochet pineapples! This pattern is called Passionate Plum in the book because it was crocheted in plum colored thread but I decided to do mine in white this time. The last time I crocheted this pattern it was in a beautiful sage green for my friend, Barb. It measures 16 inches across and was crocheted in size 10 crochet cotton using a size 8/1.50mm steel crochet hook.

The photo at right is a closeup of the center pinwheel portion. 

I have found Annie's Attic crochet patterns to be the easiest to follow. At least 35 years ago I was trying to learn to follow a printed pattern. I could crochet but only if someone showed me how to do it. Well, along came Annie's Crochet, a magazine that had wonderful, usable patterns in it. The instructions were easy enough that I could follow them--any of them. Annie's Attic  sells other patterns but if you want simple to follow, choose the ones that say Annie's Attic. I have also found Annie's Attic patterns at Joanns.

The photo at left is a closeup of the pineapples at the edge. I always feel so accomplished when I finish a doily. 

Currently I am working on a doily called Lace Wheat. They are also known as Ripened Wheat. I have never tried a Wheat doily before so we'll see what happens.

I hope you have wonderful day full of the Lord's rich blessings! I am hoping one of those blessings is sunshine today but fear it will just be more rain--which is a blessing for the farmers:) Kat

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Me & My New Shoes

I had a town day with my hubby on Monday! Lots we needed to do but got to do some fun stuff too like eat lunch at Olive Garden:) So yummy! I could make a meal out of just salad and bread sticks!!!

Our biggest (and longest) stop was Costco--my eye appointment, picking out the frames (yuck--wanted something fun but ended up with functional), buying groceries...and I found these shoes! I have been wanting something like this since last summer--a sport shoe that I didn't have to wear socks with! The price on the ones I had been looking at was $80 and I wasn't willing to pay that much. Looking online showed that the retail for these was $79.99! Well, the beauty of these was Costco only had two sizes left--6 and 8 (I wear an 8). And the best part??? They were only $39.99!!! I was doing a little happy dance right there in the aisle! They are so comfy and super cute!

The shoes are Genesis by J-41 and are Jeep Trail Rated whatever that means. From the J-41 website, I quote: 

"From the moment we are born, life is a personal journey. Around every bend lies the unexpected. Those twists and turns that define each of our lives. J-41™ Footwear is built to meet life’s challenges. Engineered to traverse individual terrains, J-41™ offers superior traction, durability and comfort.
Featuring ridged rubber soles, fastdrying, water resistant materials and extra cushioning for superior support, J-41™ is the footwear of choice for individuals on-the-move. Wherever you may go, whatever you may do, J-41™ is a true friend and constant companion.
Combining a highly-functional design with exceptional style,
J-41™ Footwear sets a pace well above the crowd. From leisurely outings to more intensive activities, J-41™ is a high performance “go anywhere” shoe that looks and feels great. A roadmap — gently imbedded in our soles — symbolizes the unique and very special adventure that each of us embarks upon."

So, if your Costco doesn't have them or doesn't have your size and you just have to have a pair (like me) you can purchase these shoes for $44.95 from Sierra Trading Post or Amazon.

Yes, I am still happy dancin' in my new shoes:) Hmmm...does happy dancin' qualify as exercise? Kat